• Week Seven at the Capitol

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    March 05, 2019


    Contact:  Ines Ownes, Director
    Week Seven at the Capitol
    By: Sen. Larry Walker (R – Perry)
    With the completion of the seventh week under the gold dome, just two legislative days are left before Crossover Day on Thursday, March 7th. As we move towards this turning point of session, we’ll be working hard to ensure that all our priorities pass the Senate and make their way to the House.
    We were visited by U.S. Senator David Perdue on Monday of last week and were given a report of things happening in D.C. in relation to the federal funding for Hurricane Michael disaster relief in southwest Georgia. It’s nice to hear that Sen. Perdue, Sen. Johnny Isakson and members of our U.S. House delegation have not forgotten about the struggle our farmers are facing and are actively working to find a solution through their stand-alone disaster relief package.
    On Tuesday of last week, the Senate passed out several bills related to health care in our state. The biggest piece of which was Senate Bill 106, also known as the “Patients First Act.” This is one of Governor Kemp’s priorities and will allow him and the Department of Community Health to ask the federal government for waivers to the Medicaid program so we can craft health care options that work for both providers and patients in our state. We also passed several other measures, including Senate Bill 18 which allows doctors and patients to enter into direct primary care agreements without being subject to insurance regulations. This opens another avenue for doctors to practice in Georgia and we hope that it encourages more doctors to come to our state to help fill our doctor shortage. And lastly, we passed Senate Bill 115 which would allow doctors not physically located in Georgia to practice telemedicine in our state. We hope that this will open up more choices, particularly for rural Georgians, in terms of health care.
    On Thursday, a measure that will have an impact on schools around our state passed the Senate. Senate Bill 15, or the “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act,” will help improve our school’s safety and protect from threats (including fire and weather related events protocol) by mandating a school safety assessment be conducted every four years through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, it opens communication between state agencies involved in school safety to help facilitate communication about any intelligence received and to ensure that communication is as efficient as possible. I look forward to seeing the effects of this bill help all our schools improve their current measures and craft a safety plan catered to their individual school needs.
    If you have any questions about the legislation we have passed, or future legislation, please do not hesitate to contact my office. It is always a pleasure to hear from my constituents. Thank you for your continued trust as I work to represent the 20th District.
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    Sen. Larry Walker serves as Caucus Vice Chairman for the Majority Party.  He represents the 20th Senate District, which includes Bleckley, Houston, Laurens and Pulaski counties.  He may be reached by phone at (404) 656-0095 or by email at larry.walker@senate.ga.gov

    Elisabeth Fletcher, Communications Specialist